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Kintsugi, breathes a new lease of life

 

It got the life back! 

What a shocking incident when your favourite ceramic break, get crack or chipped. It happens a lot to the careless person like me. It's like "not again!". 

The painful appearance made me feel down and I put them away somewhere I didn't see or even threw away some of them that broke into pieces. I did know that there's a way to repair broken ceramics, but now that I'm living in Singapore, it's not easy to find the right place to have them fixed.

Before the summer I happened to find "Kintsugi" class where I can learn and repair my broken ceramics by myself during my summer break. By a sudden turn, just like searching for lost treasure, I picked two broken items to bring along to Japan. I was just so excited. 

What is Kintsugi?


Kintsugi is the method of repairing broken ceramics using Urushi lacquer and the power of nature. The history of Kintsugi is quite a long since some earthware pieces adhered or the cracked ones coated with Urushi were found from Jomon ruins in Japan dating back more than 10 thousands years, which means that Urushi had been already recognized as an adhesive at the time. Kintsugi that is familiar today originally started in Muromachi era when the tea ceremony culture was flourishing. Back then not only repairing by adhering but also utilising the repaired part as scenery, which is the sense of beauty unique to Japan. 

Because of the name of Kin(=gold)tsugi (=joinery), gold tends to be featured, but it actually is Urushi that mend broken part, then metal powder including gold, silver or tin so on is often used as a decorative finish.

 

kintsugi plate
one of my teacher's works

Today there're another ways for Kintsugi to use different materials like synthetic resin instead of Urushi lacquer, however in the light of food safety, Urushi which is the natural material is the best suited for tablewares.  

 

 

Kintsugi is not only one procedure. It varies depends on its basis material, how it gets damaged like cracked or cracked open or chipped and whether or not there're broken pieces.

So before starting, I need to pay close attention to not only the broken parts but also the curve of the edge, thickness to balance with the whole form carefully by looking and touching.

 

 

Even when I bought and was using it, I'd never looked closely and carefully at them.

Approaching from different viewpoint allowed me to find new aspects and parts that I hadn't recognised before. That was a new discovery about my beloved items.

applying Urushi after putting the putty made of clay paste
applying Urushi after putting the putty made of clay paste

 

When you try hard to make the repairing part less noticeable, it would be no fun but Kintsugi is the one that takes advantage of a unique feature of the repaired part, so it is pleasant process to work thinking about what new scene will appear.

Also, because it's favourite items, the time you spend for it is enjoyable, the finish is proud and precious when you use it. 

Repairing and mending breathes a new lease of life into them. If you do it yourself, you could get involved with the item partially and infuse them with your unique qualities. I found that the time I spent for it just made me feel splendor and peaceful together with a sense of fulfillment. All these feelings that I can never get from brand new items.  


 

Kintsugi definitely allows us to get a special attachment to your items, and then leads to value your items with a great care using them as long as life lasts repairing and mending, it's not only about ceramics but about everything. In today's world where is full of random handy stuff, I'd like to pick the ones that I can truly love in the long run and nurture them rather than getting new stuff more and more. 

By taking these repaired Kintsugi items in our everyday life, I'd like to share this feeling with my family, friends and just everybody!  

 

Kintsugi is often compared to our life and human relationship. We happen to experience failure or face a setback, however overcoming those difficulties and challenges allow us to add a new perspective to the person and then become tasteful as well as being stronger.

 

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